The Windows 11 product key or activation key is the 25-character alphanumeric product key that activates Windows OS. If you buy a new Windows PC directly you will find the code in one way, if you buy a digital copy of the operating system in yet another way. That is why we decided to divide our guide into two parts: in the first, we will explain where to find the Windows 11 product key, in the second we will go into more detail, describing the step by step procedure on how to recover the code. If that’s clear, we can get started right away.
Where to find/view the Windows 11 product key?
Find the product key of a digital copy of Windows 11 purchased from an authorized reseller
If you have bought a digital copy of Windows 11 from an authorized reseller the product key has been released via email confirming the purchase. Alternatively, it can be found in a separate section of the customer area of the site where Windows was bought. So check the inbox of the email with which you completed the registration to the portal or that you indicated during the purchase phase. Usually, the email is sent within a few minutes, but in some cases, it can take up to 24 hours.
Find the product key of a digital copy of Windows 11 purchased from Microsoft
The same goes if the digital copy of the Windows 11 OS is bought from the Microsoft Store, the digital platform presented by the Redmond giant starting from Windows 8. Also in this case, in fact, finding the product key will be a breeze, since it will be contained in the email received from Microsoft a few seconds after the online purchase. If you do not receive it, make sure that the acquisition was successful: connect to your Microsoft account, then go to the Order History section and check that the message regarding the recently purchased copy of Windows appears.
Find the product key after upgrading to Windows 11
On the other hand, if you have upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11 you can rest assured: there is no product key to recover because you simply have a digital license. Likewise, if you decide to install Windows 11 again after the update, you won’t be prompted to enter your Windows product key during the process.
Note: Unlike the product key, the digital license is linked to the Microsoft account. To activate Windows 11 key, therefore, you just need to log in with your Microsoft profile and access the Internet.
How to recover the Windows 11 product key
Retrieve the Windows 11 product key from Prompt
The recovery of the license key of Windows 11 using the Command Prompt is very simple, affordable for everyone. All you need to do is:
- Open Command Prompt after typing the app name in the search bar
- Copy and paste the wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey
- Click on the Enter key on the keyboard
- Find Windows 11 product key from Prompt
After a few moments, two new command lines will appear. In the first one, there will be written “OA3xOriginalProductKey” again (without quotation marks), while in the next one will appear a 25-digit alphanumeric code (XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX) corresponding to the Windows 11 product key. recovered the code you will need to activate the license copy previously purchased or to reinstall Windows.
Retrieve the Windows 11 product key from the registry
Now let’s open a little parenthesis on recovering the Windows 11 product key via the Registry Editor app. Let’s say right away that we decided to talk about it only for completeness of information, since it allows you to find the code, but only on a theoretical level. In fact, once you reach the entry associated with the key, you will have in front of you a file expressed as a binary value (REG_BINARY).
However, no more chatter here’s how to retrieve the Windows 11 product key from the Registry:
- Open the Registry Editor app (invoke it via the name Registry from the search bar next to the Start menu)
- Click Yes to allow the application to make changes to the device
- Select HYEI LOCAL MACHINE
- Go to SOFTWARE
- Log into Microsoft
- Switch to Windows NT
- Click on Current Version
- Windows 11 product key from the registry.
Our guide on how to view the Windows 11 product key ends here. As you have seen, recovering the code was not as difficult as you thought at the beginning and now you can finally move on to the next step, that of activating the system.